Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dominic, by William Steig

Alas, poor Dominic. My kids never really got into this book, even though by the end it seemed like they would like it if they hadn't already made up their minds to not like it. I picked it out at the library and then our hold on the next I, Jack book was fulfilled, so my kids hated Dominic for being in the way of the book they'd rather be reading. I would say, "Now it's time to read the greatest book ever written," and my daughter would yell, "Dominic stinks!" And because I am less mature than my seven-year-old, I'd make sure we had this same exchange every night.

In truth, it wasn't a bad book. It was the story of a dog on a quest, righting wrongs along his way. I found it strange that nearly every animal had a last name that was the name of a different animal, like a pig named Mr. Badger and a duck named Mrs. Fox. I can only assume it was intentional, but I don't really understand why. And the way the final scene was written it made me think the entire book had been an allegory for life and death, but then it very abruptly seemed like no, it wasn't that at all. Not many kids books would reward a second reading for missed symbolism, but this one would. If only there were a Dominic Cliffs Notes.

Rating: five and a half out of seven giant inflatable monkeys.

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